Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes, Police Chief Jim Corwin, and other leaders gathered yesterday to discuss the root causes of violent crime among youths and possible solutions in light of the city's rising homicide rate, says the Kansas City Star. The city has recorded its 53rd homicide, compared with 37 at the same time last year – the most at this time since 1998. Among homicides this year, six victims were 18 and younger.
A group called Move Up plans a Violence Prevention Weekend to raise community awareness of violence and ways to combat it. There also will be three youth violence summits involving leaders of neighborhoods, businesses, schools, and community groups. Mayor Pro-tem Alvin Brooks said living conditions of black people in the urban core had not changed significantly over the years, which may be why about 70 percent of homicide victims are black. “Homicides are cyclical,” he said. “They happen over and over again. Let's take a hard look at the causative factors. Otherwise, we're just wasting our time.”